Sunday, August 3, 2014

Highlights From The 9th Sydney Latin American Film Festival

Cinema and Latin lovers are invited to experience a distinctive film program by vanguard directors at the forefront of Latin American cinema at the 9th Sydney Latin American Film Festival. Share in the unique stories as you explore the music, dark humour, drama and hopes of Latin America, all through a contemporary Latin American lens.

The festival will span 8 days (3-10 September), screening a high-calibre selection of new-release features, documentaries and short films from Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Peru, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Australia.

Launching the festival at Event Cinemas on George Street on Wednesday 3rd September will be the Cuban Film BEHAVIOUR (Conducta), an insightful and unembellished look into contemporary Cuba that has taken the Cuban box office by storm, scored multiple awards and spurred heated debate. This film captures Cuban social reality in all its complexity, and gives a voice to their frustrations and anxieties while still offering some hope for the future. The film will be followed by a Cuban Fiesta at the Goodgod Small Club headlined by Mucho Mambo and complemented by the sounds of DJ Señor Bolivar. You are invited to feast on a delicious selection of canapés and enjoy our favourite drinks from Corona beer, Pacifico beer and Havana Club Rum.

Curator Gisselle Gallego hopes “audiences will get to see Latin America through a different lens. This year we will be showcasing bold, dark, quirky and unique stories from young and up and coming directors.”

Highlights of the festival program include Brazil’s winner at the 61st International Film Festival, A WOLF AT THE DOOR (O lobo atrás da porta) - a nerve-rattling tale of a kidnapped child inspired by real events. A thriller reminiscent of Fatal Attraction, Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Coimbra’s suspenseful feature debut captures the darkness that ensues when panic breeds suspicion and love turns to hate.

The very first feature from Haiti STONES IN THE SUN (Woch Nan Soley), winner of the Sundance Time Warner Storytelling Award and Special Jury Mention at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, is an impassioned debut by film director Patricia Benoit that thoughtfully unveils stories of damaged love and the desire to return to a home that no longer exists.

In Costa Rica’s feature film ALL ABOUT THE FEATHERS (Por las plumas), Neto Villalobos’ first feature film is a subtle, absurdist comedy that impressively hinges on the stellar performances of the (mostly amateur) cast and exceptional observational cinematography. This feature is a black comedy about Chalo, a lone security guard who acquires his first gamecock and discovers the bittersweet taste of friendship. It raised $16,522 through the crowdsourcing platform

From Puerto Rico comes THE COWS WEARING GLASSES (Las vacas con gafas) directed by one of the most talented emerging filmmakers coming out of the new wave of Puerto Rican cinema, Alex Santiago Pérez. A story about the emotional awakening of a man who is nearing the end of his days, Marso is a solitary and eccentric painter and art professor. He has a disease that will make him lose his sight at any time and that has forced him to rethink the relationship with his daughter, while taking stock of a life full of professional success but unsatisfactory on the personal level.

For lovers of Reggae music, SONGS OF REDEMPTION will be screening - a moving story of rehabilitation of inmates from the General Penitentiary in Jamaica, featuring riveting interviews and powerful Reggae music created and performed by the inmates and wardens. After the screening, let DJ Señor Bolivar take you to a journey through Reggae soundscapes.Kids and adults alike can also join in the festivities, with pre-screening fun and games on offer by Pistachio Entertainment before the beautifully animated film ANINA, a multi-award winning gem filled to the brim with humor and empathy.


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